Riding on horseback

Chris McCluskey plays a song for you.

Few bands celebrate the release of a record simultaneously with an amicable parting of ways, but three-piece rock act Horses is doing just that. Guitarist Lachie MacDonald is packing his bags to be with his flame in Toronto, 1,800km from drummer Glenn Barrington and bassist Mark Gillis.

"Basically the idea is that because I knew I was leaving, and we had all this stuff, we wanted to at least document it," says MacDonald. "So we're basically doing a short run of a full-length."

Promotion of the nine-song self-titled effort, recorded after-hours at The Rock Garden, is one of a multitude of final duties MacDonald will attend to before relocating. Among his other musical responsibilities are roles in the Tom Fun Orchestra, Die Brucke and Great Plains, also releasing an album this week. MacDonald says he'll miss the workload.

"Pretty much the only reason I am moving to Toronto is because my girlfriend lives there," he says. "I'll definitely be doing some musical stuff, but nothing's firm just yet. But it looks like I'll be doing something with Greg MacPherson at some point."

Horses perform their last shows on March 17 at One World Cafe with Thundrah and Dog Day, followed by Gus' Pub the same evening with Thundrah and Got to Get Got.

Write on

For a record that qualifies as full-length, Scribbler's third effort doesn't fit the ordinary definition. Alex Currie says out of the 14 songs on Backitis, only a small fraction run longer than two minutes.

"The songs are really short. Well, basically there are three songs on the record that go over a minute-30, or a minute-45," he explains. "And those three songs make up 50 percent of the album."

The quartet, whose sound varies from improvisational noise to pop-rock to folk, looks forward to sharing Backitis with fans before soon heading back into the studio to finish what they've started on the fourth installment of the Scribbler catalogue.

"We've been working on another album called Abiogenesi we're going to put out after this one," he says. "So Craig's been putting down bed tracks for that while Franc's away in Fredericton."

Catch Backitis on March 16 at Gus' Pub with Shotgun and Jaybird and Play Guitar.

Tour time

When last we spoke with Jonny Stevens about his upcoming record, to be released on March 21 at Tribeca, he was hoping to secure funding to put the treatment for its lead single "Starting Over" to video. Word this week is the filming will go ahead with director Sean Wainsteim (Wintersleep, Tokyo Police Club, The Sopranos) later this month. Promotion of the self-titled album will also keep him busy, with stops throughout the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario.

While on the subject of touring, recently relocated promoter Ben Pearlman will return to Nova Scotia to present his annual punk rock event, Flip the Switch, on July 2 at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. This year's bill features Rise Against, Silverstein, Comeback Kid, 2 Cents, Risky Business, Iron Giant, Autumnstorm and more. Closer to the present, Winterfest 2007—an all-ages event at The Pavilion this weekend—begins Thursday with headliners Job for a Cowboy. Friday evening is headlined by Great Plains' CD release and an appearance by Crush Luther. Saturday wraps up in style with Winnipeg's Comeback Kid, who double up at The Attic later that night.

Send news of note. Email: scene@thecoast.ca

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